Scope and Contents
The papers of printmaker and educator Fred Becker measure 3.4 linear feet and date from 1913 to 2004, with the bulk from 1940 to 2000. The collection documents Becker's work as a professional artist and educator through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, writings, interviews, personal business records, gallery and exhibition files, project files, photographic material, printed material, and artwork.
Biographical material includes a birth certificate and announcement, résumés and other biographical writings, as well as memorial materials and obituaries. Also included are letters and photographs concerning Becker's WWII appointment with the Office of War Information in China. Correspondence reflects relationships with colleagues and friends including Stanley William Hayter, Gail Singer, and Mona Van Duyn, professional organizations, museums and galleries, as well as family. The Writings series contains essays and artist statements written by Becker, articles and essays written about Becker by others, and writings by poets Ruthven Todd and Mona Van Duyn. Lectures are featured in written form, as well as audio recordings. Interviews include transcripts and audio and video recordings.
Personal business records include various studio artwork inventories and information regarding artwork donation and sale at auction, in addition to documents related to Becker's role as an art instructor. In the gallery and exhibition files are detailed records of gallery and museum exhibitions, as well as correspondence with specific galleries including the Mary Ryan Gallery. Project files include documentation of various residencies and government art programs Becker participated in, a symposium on Atelier 17, as well as significant bodies of work.
Photographic materials document Becker's artwork, including images of works by fellow artists S.W. Hayter and Paul Burlin. Photograph formats include slides, transparencies, negatives, and black and white prints. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, clippings and invitations. Also found are various artworks including sketchbooks, loose sketches, prints, and a partial letterpress mock-up of Winter of Artifice, printed by author Anaïs Nin, with various etching illustrations by Ian Hugo.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Fred Becker papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2018 by Becker's daughter Carla Becker.
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Ryan Evans in 2018.